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Elder statesman and former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, has now recovered, two weeks after testing positive to COVID-19NIGER DELTA TODAY (NDT) Online reports.

Clark who said he contracted Coronavirus after one of his nieces who visited his Abuja home became sick and later tested positive to the virus, also confirmed that all nine of his staff and siblings who equally tested positive have all also recovered.

Recounting the experience, the 93-year-old former senator said he undergone treatment for 14 days before subsequent tests by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) returned negative.

Clark, Convener of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the apex socio-political organisation for ethnic nationalities in the region shared his experience Tuesday, in exclusive interactions with Managing Editor of NDT.

The nonagenarian said Coronavirus is real, describing the dismissive stance of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State as “shameful.”

Expressing how worried he became when his niece tested positive for the virus, given his old age and underlying challenges, the former minister affirmed he had religiously adhered to NCDC protocols since outbreak of the virus in the country.

The PANDEF Convener recounted, “Sometime last month (January) I got a call from one of my nieces that she was just coming from Warri. I told her that you people in Warri don’t observe COVID-19 protocols very well and I said she should stay in the guest house.

“In the third day she became very ill. She was very weak, coughing, and that she has malaria. I directed that she should be taken to my clinic. Because she was coughing, the doctor said she should go for a Covid test.

“She went to National Hospital on Saturday for test and it was on Thursday of the following week that the test result came out. Meanwhile, she has been mixing with the people in the House. The result came and she tested positive.

“I got worried. I quickly phoned the minister of health (Dr. Osagie Ehanire) that I have a problem. I am 93 going to 94 and I have underlying issue. I told him I have followed order and the necessary protocols but somebody has brought it to my house. What should I do?

“The following day (Friday) he sent doctors and 24 of us in the house were tested and the Saturday of it the result came and nine of us tested positive. Number one on the list, was myself. I was terribly worried.

“He (Dr. Osagie Ehanire) contacted the FCT team and they said they want to evacuate me to a good isolation centre but I insist I treat from home. They said that was okay. They sent doctors to look after me and the rest who tested positive. I was worried because I have heard of people dying of the virus.”

He described his 14 days isolation and treatment period as “terrible experience”, adding that he was at a point scared of the virus.

Chief Clark said aside from malaria, he did not develop other symptoms of the virus until he was confirmed positive.

The Ijaw leader commended the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and officials of the Ministry of Health for prompt response that led to his quick recovery from the virus.

Meanwhile, Clark has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the ongoing National Identification Numbers (NIN) registration, saying its timing was wrong considering the rising COVID-19 cases.

He also called for sanction for Governor Bello of Kogi State over his claims that Coronavirus was not real, and urged Nigerians to support efforts by government to stop spread of the pandemic in the country.

According him, “First, let me say COVID-19 is real. The ongoing NIN is a very irresponsible action from Federal Government (FG). You cannot be asking Nigerians to go and queue without social distancing and wearing face mask, and struggling to register. For what? Under this period, how many people are they going to register.

“The duty of every government is security and welfare but as at today, you have people fighting everywhere to register for National Identity Number (NIN) card. What is so urgent about it? Who’s losing money if you don’t register now?

“I appeal to FG to stop this irresponsible exercise and concentrate on COVID-19. They (political leaders must show example to others. If at 93, I’m wearing face mask in my house, nobody should be exempted including Mr President. They should show example to Nigerians. The regulations should be carried out.

“The governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, should be ashamed of himself. He should be sanctioned. This is a man parading self that he wants to be President of Nigeria. It’s all nonsense. Some of them feel because they are very close to Mr. President, they can do anything.”

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